After an afternoon of apple picking, I went home and baked my very first apple pie. I’m always a little nervous when making things for the first time, but I was grinning ear to ear when I pulled this baby out of the oven. Even if it didn’t taste good at least it looked good, and it so happened to taste fantastic. You can’t go wrong with Barefoot Contessa’s pie crust and super fresh apples.
4 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 c. sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
Pie Crust, recipe follows
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
12 tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbs. sugar
1/3 c. very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tbs. (about 1/2 cup) ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processo and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in a bowl with juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to extend about 1/2-inch over the rim.
Fill the pie with the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar, and cut 5 slits.
Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.
Image via here
With Fall comes certain activities, like wearing sweaters, eating chili, decorating with pumpkins and how ’bout apple picking?! I love that I consider all of the above ‘activities’. Well, living in the Bay Area has inspired me to do all kinds of things I never considered doing before and this includes visiting an apple orchard. The hubs and I drove north to visit Twin Hill Ranch where we spent the day picking apples of all kinds for my first apple pie (recipe to come) and to share with neighbors and friends. It was such a fun afternoon, next time I plan on packing a little picnic basket.
The Battery, a new club in SF’s Financial District, has a gourmet restaurant, a few bars, a wine cellar, a gym and spa, a library, meeting rooms, an outdoor garden and 14 hotel rooms, including a penthouse suite with views of the Transamerica Pyramid and the Bay Bridge (phew!) – and it’s all invitation-only. This private social club is located inside a turn-of-the-century marble factory and has a bougie, village pub feel, beautifully executed by designer Ken Fulk. Prospective members must be nominated by an existing member and dues are $2,400 a year…although it may seem a bit elitist, the social media millionaires that created this club want it to be a place where members can discuss the arts, ideas, current affairs, wine, food and less about computer use and shop talk. Guess most of us will be admiring the space from the outside…
Images via here
Have a cozy Halloween!